- For the short stories collection, see World of Warcraft: Paragons.
- For the boss encounter, see Paragons of the Klaxxi.
Paragons are mantid champions from past eras who were preserved in amber at the height of their strength and buried all over the Dread Wastes. Legendary heroes of the mantid, they are preserved in case of a great crisis. Some of them are war masters, others are ingenious alchemists or master assassins. After being chosen, the Klaxxi are usually responsible for giving paragons their second names.
Paragons are encased in empowered amber shells by a skilled ambersmith of the paragon's choosing. After putting the paragon to sleep, the ambersmith is immediately killed, in order to keep the location of the paragon a secret. It requires the power of the entire Klaxxi council to locate paragons, preventing outsiders or lone Klaxxi'va from interfering with them. Once encased, paragons will be left to sleep until there is need of their help, and can awaken from many thousands of years of sleep without incident. However, the power of the amber is finite, and the preserved subject runs the risk of death if not released from stasis before the power of the amber is depleted.
Being put to sleep is painful, and feels like dying. Being awakened is also painful, and leaves the paragon extremely weak and in dire need of nourishment. It is speculated among the mantid that the process of reviving a paragon from his amber slumber is akin to an empress bringing her swarmborn into the world, and awakened paragons do seem to feel a special bond with the one who rouses them from their sleep. Calling them their "Wakener", paragons can instinctively recognise the one who awakened them. The process of putting paragons to sleep in amber and the equipment used for it was invented by the first paragon, Korven the Prime.
Becoming a paragon brings with it the right to ask questions and expect answers. Paragons display an awareness of the nature of the cycle and the swarm far beyond that of other mantid, including a far less reverential attitude toward the current empress. Through the Klaxxi, paragons are aware of their true purpose - not merely to serve the empress, but to preserve the cycle.
When the player first arrives in the Dread Wastes, they stumble upon the paragon Kil'ruk the Wind-Reaver and awaken him. Kil'ruk then introduces the player to the Klaxxi council, who allow the player to continue waking up paragons to help build their forces. These paragons become daily questgivers, so as they're waking them up the player is also unlocking more dailies.
With the discovery of the Heart of Y'Shaarj by Garrosh Hellscream, the Klaxxi allied themselves with the Warchief and his Kor'kron Guard. The paragons were given their own chamber within the Underhold, ready to stand against anyone who dared enter Garrosh's Inner Sanctum, where the revived heart was moved. They were eventually killed by the same adventurers with whom they had allied in Pandaria.
- Paragons are recognisable by their second names. Most paragons receive their second name from the Klaxxi.
- Scattered throughout the Dread Wastes are ten lost treasures, each of which appears to be the one-time possession of one of the awakened paragons.
- Hisek the Swarmkeeper
- Iyyokuk the Lucid
- Ka'roz the Locust
- Kaz'tik the Manipulator
- Kil'ruk the Wind-Reaver
- Korven the Prime
- Malik the Unscathed
- Ninil'ko the Bloodcaller
- Qi'tar the Deathcaller
- Rik'kal the Dissector
- Skeer the Bloodseeker
- Xaril the Poisoned Mind
- Unnamed deceased paragon
The preservation of paragons in amber, although extremely long-lasting, does have its limits. However, the exact details are uncertain.
Korven the Prime states that he believes he would have soon died had he not been awakened from the amber sleep when he was. Since Korven was the first paragon to have been put into stasis in this way, the duration of his sleep (also equal to the length of time for which the preservation of paragons has been practiced) can therefore be considered a rough measure of the preservative potential of the amber. However, the exact length of his sleep is unknown.
Kil'ruk the Wind-Reaver states that he slept for "thousands and thousands of years", while Ka'roz the Locust was active during the building of the Serpent's Spine, easily 12,000 years ago. Both appear to have awakened without problem.